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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 August 2005, 08:42 GMT 09:42 UK
Liverpool may still rescue Owen
By Phil McNulty
Chief football writer

Michael Owen
Liverpool may launch a shock move to bring former striker Michael Owen back to Anfield after he admitted interest from Premiership clubs.

Owen may leave Real Madrid in an 11m deal after the Spanish giants signed Robinho and Julio Baptista.

Liverpool had been eliminated from the race for the 25-year-old after paying 7m to sign Southampton's Peter Crouch.

But BBC Sport understands the Reds have not ruled out a deal that would see Owen return after a year in Spain.

It had been thought boss Rafael Benitez had been reluctant to bring Owen back to Anfield, only 12 months after he left in an 8m transfer before playing a competitive game for the Spaniard.

For Owen to work every day with Wayne Rooney can only make England better
England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson

And it is believed several pieces of the Benitez jigsaw would still have to fall into place before the possibility of a dramatic Owen return could become reality.

Benitez's current top priority is a central defender, with Birmingham's Matthew Upson and Deportivo La Coruna's Jorge Andrade on his hit-list.

And Liverpool would then need the cash to finance any Owen deal - with much depending on raking in 7m for Milan Baros and how much they would have to pay for their top defensive target.

But Liverpool are confident of getting their asking price for the 23-year-old Czech striker, who is surplus to requirements.

Everton have not come back to Liverpool with a bid after making an initial inquiry, while Aston Villa have so far refused to go above 6m.

But BBC Sport can reveal Monaco have now entered the race for Baros, and former boss Gerard Houllier retains an interest in taking him to Lyon.

Owen has been linked with Manchester United and Newcastle, with Liverpool very much regarded as the outsiders.

But United have cooled and Owen will show no interest in Newcastle after they were knocked out of the Intertoto Cup by Deportivo La Coruna.

It is understood Owen would jump at the chance to play for Liverpool again, and while it is still regarded as a long shot inside Anfield, the Merseysiders have not - despite suggestions to the contrary - ruled it out.


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